Upheaving your entire office to a new premises requires thorough planning and a lot of determination; meaning it can be tempting to give in and renew your existing lease to avoid the hassle. However, in certain circumstances a move cannot be avoided, especially if you’re noticing productivity is falling due to lack of space and inadequate facilities. Here are some tips and tricks on the how to move your office with ease.
Once you have decided to move, there are early decisions that need to be made and approved. Unless you have discussed and answered this essential criteria, DO NOT begin your move. Inadequate planning will only lead to confusion and could result in your whole move falling through. Start by asking yourself and your colleagues the following questions:
- What are your requirements: (i.e. bigger/smaller space, cheaper, a more mutual location)?
- Where are you moving to?
- What is your budget for the entire process?
- Is there an ideal moving date?
- Who is in charge of the process?
Select a team of employees to be involved in the moving process and inform them of your plans; for there’s no need to do this alone. Having a project manager/leader will improve communication amongst your team significantly; perhaps organise weekly meetings to keep everyone informed of any progress.
Pick Your Premises
When picking your new building, analyse everything your current location is missing and compare the new property against this. Afterwards, you can also decide on whether you’d be willing to add or revamp anything that’s missing (installing air conditioning/heating, repainting). Here are some things you should consider:
- Can you afford it?
- Is the lease suitable?
- Realistically is it big enough?
- Is anything damaged?
- Is any maintenance needed, if so who is responsible, the manager or you?
- Are there any nearby amenities?
- What is the parking like?
- How secure is the building?
- Does it have fire exits?
Create a Spreadsheet
A detailed timeline will ensure all aspects of your move are dealt with accordingly. Use a spreadsheet (e.g. Microsoft Excel) to produce a detailed checklist alongside this that covers absolutely everything; it will be your lifeline throughout your move, so keep it up to date.
Put the tasks that’ll take the longest first (e.g. making preparations with the moving company, ordering new furniture,) and the easier tasks closer to the moving date (building furniture, setting up computers). With a timeline you can minimise disruption for your business and ensure relocating runs smoothly, without any hiccups.
Include a budget for your entire moving process too, this might cover the following:
- IT & telecoms systems.
- Professional fees (insurance, commercial property agent).
- Rent/ service charge for new property.
- Storage crate rental.
- Restorations (painting, installing new bathroom facilities).
- Removal company charges.
Make a New Office Plan
Once you’ve sorted out a checklist, start producing a floor plan for your new premises. Cover how much space there is, where desks and IT equipment will go, etc. Having an office plan will save considerable time when setting up your new layout; allowing your business to be up and running sooner.
Have a Clear out
It’s highly probable you’ve got a lot of junk which doesn’t need to accompany you, so take advantage of the move and have a thorough office clear out. Delegate each employee with the responsibility of organising their workspace to save time. Make sure this is completed before the move, that way having to distinguish between what to keep and bin will already be completed.
Pack & Move Properly
For the sake of saving a few pounds, it’s not worth having months off work with injuries caused by heavy lifting, so leave it to the professionals, such as the British Association of Removers – it’s not always about going for the cheapest option. Search around and gather at least three quotes for comparison, you can also check online for reviews and their insurance policy, for you need to be covered if any breakages occur. Provide the removers with a full inventory of everything that needs moving to make sure they bring an appropriate sized vehicle.
Suitable packaging and storage is incredibly important for equipment safety. For the more expensive items, i.e. computer monitors, printers and laptops, select more durable options (e.g. plastic containers) to keep everything protected – cardboard is hardly suitable for priceless supplies. Keep cardboard boxes for the less fragile items.
Additionally, make sure temporary storage is arranged before you begin boxing everything up to guarantee your office’s belongings have a secure home until you’re completely set up.
Informing your external contacts that you’re relocating is essential to preventing your move from impacting your business. Arrange some time to notify your customers and clients how moving will be beneficial; whilst reassuring them business will run as usual. Suppliers and vendors will also have to be informed if you don’t want to miss stock deliveries. You could even update your company website on your move with an announcement or simply by updating the “contact us” page.
Before your official moving day, you might have to run two offices simultaneously to ensure everything is actually working. Visit your new premises and test your electronics (telephones, computers, printers); this way you can identify and fix any technical issues before you formally start in your new office.
Health & Safety
Carrying out health and safety checks is vital when moving your business, for disobeying regulations could land you in serious trouble. Run a full inspection of your new premises; this means checking there aren’t any: obstructed electrical equipment ventilators, overloaded of plug sockets, circulation route tripping hazards (cables & boxes), etc. Relocating doesn’t excuse you from ignoring the criteria!